Cate Blanchett led a Cannes red carpet women's march

Ruben Ruiz
May 15, 2018

The Cannes film festival signed a charter Monday vowing to push for parity between men and women by 2020.

The organisers of the Cannes Film Festival have pledged to improve gender equality by signing a promise to make their selection process more transparent.

"Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise", Cannes jury president Cate Blanchett and French director Agnes Varda read from a statement during the protest.

"On these steps today stand 82 women representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946", she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fremaux said he hoped that Cannes would embrace the new initiatives, which include a pledge to compile statistics tracking the gender of filmmakers and major crew members on all the films submitted to the festival.

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Also joining were the five female members of this year's Cannes jury: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux and Burundian singer Khadja Nin. "We hope that it will reinforce the realization that the world is not the same anymore". In contrast, 1,866 male directors have been selected in the festival's 71-year history.

"We must question our history and our habits", the Cannes festival director added, calling on other global film festivals to follow suit.

Cannes has come under repeated criticism in recent years over its poor record of selecting female filmmakers.

She added that 71 male directors have received the Palme d'Or, the most prestigious award of the festival. Husson is one of three female filmmakers out of the 21 movies in competition for the Palme d'Or this year. The move comes as the topics of inclusion and equality have been front and centre here. It's believed the pledge will be rolled out to other festivals around the world in the coming months.

After the signing, filmmaker Rebecca Zlotowski noted it was Blanchett's birthday, and attendees serenaded the actress with a rendition of "Happy Birthday".

Other reports by GizPress

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